WELLS, TX (KTRE) - A grand jury has indicted Texas Governor Rick Perry for allegedly abusing his power and coercion of a public servant.
The indictment stems from Perry's threat to veto funding for a public integrity unit run BY District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg's office.
Perry’s threat came after Lehmberg received a DWI in 2013, when she refused to resign that’s when Perry threatened to withhold the funds.
Meanwhile, some East Texas Republicans don't believe this is anything more than a politically motivated move.
Texas state representative Travis Clardy says there's something odd about the grand jury that made Perry the first indicted Texas governor in nearly a century.
"The timing of situations like this I always find interesting and sometimes curious. I certainly do in this instance,” Clardy said.
Clardy and State Senator Robert Nichols said Perry was completely within his rights as governor when he cut the funding.
"The constitution is very clear, the governor has the authority to do line item vetoes," Nichols said.
“I am confident when we look into this that Governor Perry with come out just fine and that his honor and his reputation will remain unblemished," Clardy said.
Abuse of official capacity is a first-degree felony and can carry a punishment of 5 to 99 years. Coercion of a public servant is a third degree felony and punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison.
However, Clardy and Nichols believe nothing will come of the charges.
“I think there are political motivations here,” Clardy said.
“It's a political thing,” Nichols said.
Speculations are already growing tonight that the indictment will derail any hopes that Perry has of mounting another run to the White House in 2016. Nichols thinks that Perry's decision could actually help the governor's image.
"It shows our governor when he sees something wrong he doesn't mind taking action and he did and something people don't like that but that is ok," Nichols said.
Governor Perry's office released this statement shortly following the announcement of the indictment saying quote:
"The veto in question was made in accordance with the veto authority afforded to every governor under the Texas Constitution. We will continue to aggressively defend the governor's lawful and constitutional action, and believe we will ultimately prevail."